The word ‘hacker’ comes along frequently in conversations about internet security and privacy online. Often then word has been taken to have different meanings depending on who it is referring to. There are ‘good’ hackers and ‘evil’ hackers. There also are grey hackers.
Good hackers are called white-hat hackers. These are essentially security experts who do penetration testing for security systems. As such, their aim is to get to the flaw in the security system for the purpose of correcting that flaw. White hat hackers run professional security companies in addition to consulting for governments in some instances.
Grey hat hackers are people who sometimes hack to cause harm and at other time for social justice. Grey hackers are not motivated by personal gain but rather are looking to right some wrong through illegal access to systems. The illegality makes them not good but the intention makes them not black. Most hacking groups in the world like Anonymous fall under its category. They hack so as to try and fight for the common man who would otherwise have nowhere else to turn in the universe. These hacker groups might be consisted of different hackers from white to black but when they act together, they are looking to achieve a common goal and will therefore be acting as grey hackers.
The black hat is the hacker in the movies. This is the hacker we all fear. The black hacker is a criminal will expertise in breaking security systems. Black hackers are not in it for the pride or the reputation, they are in it for the monetary gain. This means that they are open to be hired by people who want to destroy some system, perhaps one company wanting to take down another.
They are also into the business of stealing personal and financial information. Black hat hackers will go as far as creating free internet spots from where they can steal financial and personal information. This kind of information has a ready market in the dark net where it is sold to even bigger hackers who can then use it to commit crimes like money laundering and stealing money.
The hacker is therefore motivated by different things. There are those who are in it for the protection of others, others are in it for the pride while others are there for malicious intentions. We should all take steps to ensure that we are protected from all kinds of hackers by taking control of our information when online.